There are other heroes apart from the regular ones – the Damian Willemses, Pieter-Steph Toits and Siya Kolisis of this world.
And while not all of them are household names yet, they have been impressive in this season’s Rainbow Cup.
Here we pick a mostly-uncapped Unsung XV who won’t disappoint in the Green and Gold.
15 Aphelele Fassi (Sharks)
Following a bright start against the Stormers, the 23-year-old’s star faded a bit in recent weeks.
Still, Sharks fans can always count on the youngster to bring some spark to their attack.
He has an outside chance of making the squad for the British and Irish Lions series.
14 Madosh Tambwe (Bulls)
That individual try he scored in Round Two against the Stormers when he sidestepped both Abner van Reenen and Damian Willemse on his way to the tryline highlighted the sort of season the former Sharks man is having in Pretoria.
He is also the tournament’s joint-leading try scorer with three touchdowns. His biggest challenger for this position in the tournament would be Lions winger Rabz Maxwane.
13 Wandisile Simelane (Lions)
Stormer Ruhan Nel has been impressive in the two matches he’s played. If it wasn’t for his involvement in the Sevens team, he would have more time to unseat Simelane.
But it’s the 23-year-old Lion that cracks the nod with his twinkle toes and match-winning ability in the centre of the park.
12 Rikus Pretorius (Stormers)
Alongside Lukhanyo Am, Jeremy Ward is unbreakable. Together they are rock solid in the midfield and I could easily have gone for Ward in my team.
However, the reality is Damian de Allende and Jan Serfontein – who both ply their trades overseas – are better options.
Still, Pretorius, with 21 tackles and 27 ball carries, has shown enough to suggest that he can be moulded into a future Springbok.
11 Edwill van der Merwe (Stormers)
WITH 20 minutes to go against the Lions in Round Three of the tournament, a new star in South African rugby was born.
Damian Willemse plucked a high ball out of the air and tossed it to Van der Merwe in his own half.
The Stormers flyer then sidestepped two players, before rounding EW Viljoen to score. And he hasn’t looked back, currently also topping the tournament’s try-scorer’s list.
10 Jordan Hendrikse (Lions)
Yes, Bulls pivot Chris Smith has scored more points, including three tries, but Hendrikse has been a breath of fresh air in South African rugby in the last two weeks and at 19, his is a name worth remembering.
9 Andre Warner (Lions)
On fire in the match against the Stormers, Warner reminded me of the late Joost van der Westhuizen with that kick-and-chase collect, before popping the ball to flyhalf Jordan Hendrikse for the impressive MJ Pelser to dot down in the end.
Bok star Herschel Jantjies has been his impressive self, while Jaden Hendrikse has also caught the eye. But the calming influence Warner has on the Lions team won him my vote.
8 Evan Roos (Stormers)
Silent but violent. Such has been Roos’s rise at the Stormers this term. The former Paarl Boys’ High player, 21, returned to the Mother City at the start of the year following a stint in Durban.
And what we’ve seen from him is promising to say the least. With his never-say-die approach, Roos has made 42 tackles and took the ball up 31 times for the Stormers.
7 Elrigh Louw (Bulls)
One of the rising stars in South Africa rugby, Louw was up against the Lions’ Vincent Tsituka for this position.
But the fact that he has carried the ball 40 times this season – with great impact – and has made 67 tackles in the process, proves that the 21-year-old is on his way to greatness. Watch out Pieter-Steph du Toit.
6 MJ Pelser (Lions)
Openside flankers in South Africa are a breed of diversity.
If it’s an out-and-out fetcher you want, call on the number of Bulls ace Marco Van Staden. He has no equal in this department.
Then there’s the Siya Kolisi-type – a ball carrier and hard working.
But it’s the 22-year-old Pelser who has impressed me most. Quick hands, good with ball in possession, he also spends very little time on the ground. He is the sort of jack-in-the-box I’d pick on the side of the scrum.
5 Ruan Nortje (Bulls)
The Bulls never fail to produce quality locks and Nortje is the latest in a long line of top second rowers.
Blessed with the ability to disrupt opposition ball, Nortje has been superb in lineouts so far this season and has taken the ball up a total of 19 times and made the most tackles (68) by a second-rower in the competition.
4 JD Schickerling (Stormers)
He missed the two middle rounds of the tournament because of injury, and I felt like going with Ruben Schoeman who has been in the thick of things up front for the Lions.
Schickerling, though, was particularly impressive with his ball carrying in the first match against the Sharks and with him and Marvin Orie back, the Stormers’ lineout functioned well again in their last match against the Sharks.
3 Carlu Sadie (Lions)
The Springboks are blessed with talent in the tighthead department and that means the 24-year-old player from Bellville will have to wait his turn. Sadie, though, is beginning to knock on the door hard – especially in the last two weeks.
2 Johan Grobbelaar (Bulls)
Paarl Gim’s Grobbies is a true unsung hero in the Bulls pack, with the hooker making an incredible 59 tackles in the tournament to date, while finding his lineout jumpers with ease.
Perhaps not in the Springbok frame yet, the hard-working 23-year-old is on the right track.
1 Ox Nche (Sharks)
It’s because of Nche that I named this piece unsung heroes instead of uncapped players. For those who can remember, Nche made a single appearance for the Springboks in that once-off Test against Wales in 2018. Judging by his 18 ball carries and 34 tackles, the 25-year-old will double that tally soon.